Guyana has catapulted to the forefront of nations with the most robust economic growth rate over a span of five years, driven by its oil industry. This revelation comes from a recent assessment conducted by the hedge fund data company Insider Monkey, on August 12.
Ireland, Tajikistan, the Maldives, and Ethiopia were ranked after Guyana, using data published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The methodology employed by the company involved averaging the real gross domestic product (GDP) growth rates of countries over the preceding five years and subsequently arranging them in ascending order to formulate a list of the top 20 nations displaying the most substantial growth during this period. In instances where growth rates coincided for two or more countries, the tie-breaker was their most recent (2022) real GDP growth rates.
Guyana has emerged as the global frontrunner in terms of GDP growth since 2018, boasting an average economic expansion rate of 27.14% over the last five years. This trajectory includes a staggering 62.3% growth in 2023 alone, as per the IMF’s assessment. The impetus behind this rise can be traced to the discovery of extensive offshore oil deposits within Guyana’s Stabroek Block, found by ExxonMobil since 2015. The estimated volume of this resource currently stands at 11 billion barrels.
Intriguingly, the IMF’s 2022 Article IV report initially projected a 25.2% GDP growth for Guyana in 2023. However, this estimate was revised upward to 37.2% in April. A similar pattern unfolded for 2024, where the IMF’s earlier forecast of 21.2% growth for Guyana was more than doubled to an impressive 45.3% in the World Economic Outlook 2023: A Rocky Recovery. With these numbers, Guyana is poised to remain on top of this list.
The factor contributing to this revision lies in the anticipated surge in crude oil output. Coincidentally, on the same day that ExxonMobil unveiled its third floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessel—named Prosperity—which arrived in Guyana, the IMF released its economic review. With ExxonMobil already generating more than 380,000 barrels of crude oil daily from its Stabroek Block initiatives, the forthcoming launch of the Payara project and the subsequent increase in production will elevate output to 600,000 barrels per day.
Ranked in second place, Ireland has emerged as the fastest-growing economy within the European Union. The nation witnessed remarkable growth in 2021 and 2022, recording real GDP expansions of 13.6% and 12%, respectively. Throughout the period from 2018 to 2022, the Irish economy expanded by an average of 9.14%.
Securing the third spot, Tajikistan shines as one of Asia’s standout economies in terms of growth. Insider Monkey highlights the nation’s heavy reliance on exports such as cotton, gold, and aluminum. Over the five-year period beginning in 2018, Tajikistan’s economy achieved an average annual growth rate of 7.36%, culminating in an 8% growth in 2022.
In fourth position, the Maldives boasts the fastest-growing economy in South Asia, averaging a 7.12% annual growth rate since 2018. The nation’s economic surge stems predominantly from its vibrant tourism sector, with approximately 1.6 million visitors welcomed in 2022. Renowned for its pristine beaches, the Maldives serves as a popular honeymoon destination, positioned in the Indian Ocean to the southwest of India and Sri Lanka, approximately 750 km away from mainland Asia.
Rounding off the top five, Ethiopia, the second most populous country in Africa after Nigeria emerges as one of the continent’s most rapidly expanding economies. As per IMF data, Ethiopia’s real GDP grew at an average rate of 7.1% between 2018 and 2022.